Antony and Cleopatra | Critical Essay by Arthur Lindley

This literature criticism consists of approximately 33 pages of analysis & critique of Antony and Cleopatra.
This section contains 9,604 words
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Critical Essay by Arthur Lindley

SOURCE: Lindley, Arthur. “Enthroned in the Marketplace: The Carnivalesque in Antony and Cleopatra.” In Hyperion and the Hobbyhorse: Studies in Carnivalesque Subversion, pp. 137-56. Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 1996.

In the following excerpt, Lindley adapts Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the carnivalesque to his discussion of Antony and Cleopatra, noting the play's comic subversion of the tragic and Egypt's status as a carnival-like parody of Roman culture.

Every act of history was accompanied by a laughing chorus

—Bakhtin, Rabelais, 474

Carnival is, of course, the festivity of the marketplace and transaction is central to its view of the world. Carnival parody depends on the assumption that rank, hierarchy, and identity are transposable, therefore negotiable. A bishop who can be replaced by a boy bishop can, by extension, be replaced by another bishop or no bishop. On...

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This section contains 9,604 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Arthur Lindley